U.Va. School of Nursing receives $20M donation
Gift from D.C.-based philanthropists Bill and Joanne Conway is the largest in the nursing school’s history.
The University of Virginia’s School of Nursing announced Thursday that it has received its largest-ever gift. The $20 million donation from Washington, D.C.-area billionaire philanthropist William E. “Bill” Conway Jr. and his wife Joanne will support the enrollment of more than 1,000 nursing students during the next 10 years.
The gift is intended to support more nursing students through scholarships for varying groups of students, including transfer students and practicing registered nurses seeking bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees.
“In addition to allowing a broader and more diverse body of students to pursue bachelor’s degrees, it will help meet a critical need for BSN-prepared nurses throughout the commonwealth and the nation,” School of Nursing Dean Pam Cipriano said in a statement. “Study after study has confirmed that patients receive safer care and have better health outcomes when cared for by nurses with a BSN.”
U.Va. School of Nursing, which was founded in 1901, also intends to use the funds to establish satellite sites in Richmond and Northern Virginia, hire more nursing faculty and recruiters and expand the school’s Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center — a learning lab for nurses to practice care skills. The school plans to nearly double the size of the simulation lab from 9,500 square feet to 18,000 square feet.
This is the third gift the Conways have given to the U.Va. School of nursing. Their previous gifts total $15 million and went primarily to the school’s Clinical Nurse Leader program and the Clinical Nurse Leader Conway Scholars program. The Conways have also recently donated to Catholic University, the University of Maryland’s nursing school and Virginia Commonwealth University’s nursing program.
“Joanne and I believe that increasing the number of nurses in our nation is a lasting solution to the challenges facing our health care system,” Bill Conway said in a statement. “We are honored to partner with the U.Va. School of Nursing to open doors to more students pursuing careers in nursing, and to significantly increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses across the nation.”
Bill Conway is a co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based multinational private equity company with more than $212 billion in assets. As of Wednesday, Conway’s net worth is reported to be $3.8 billion, according to Forbes.